Monday, May 28, 2007

Have you been here, Mumbaikar ?

Most of these places are on Mumbai’s tourist circuit or listed in the Lonely Planet. They are popular with tourists but Mumbaikars have no time to visit them due to their busy and hectic life in the city. Here are ten such places and if you have not been here, it is still not too late as all are worth a dekko.

Banganga Tank and Temple Precinct

Banganga located at Walkeshwar is a rectangular water tank surrounded by stone steps. It was originally constructed during the era of the Silhara dynasty (810-1240 A.D.). It is located within a temple precinct with eight temples like the Walukeshwar, Venkateshwar Balaji and Rameshwar temples. Go here and you will be far away from the city noise with just serene water and occasional quacking of ducks and geese for company.

Borivali National Park

Mumbai’s biggest ‘green lung’, this forest covers 140 sq kms and is home to more than 1000 species of plants, 40 species of mammals and 251 species of birds. Kanheri caves that date back from the 1st to 9th century are also located in this forest.

Khotachi Wadi and Matharpakhadi

Walk around these heritage precincts located in Girgaon and Mazgaon before they vanish. Both these ‘quartiers’ have some quaint 19th century built houses with beautiful balconies, verandahs and wooden staircases. Wander around through the narrow lanes and the quietude will make you feel that you are not in Mumbai.

Haji Ali Dargah

You must have seen this early 19th century shrine from the bus on your way to work or home but have never visited it. Built in the Indo-Islamic style, this is the tomb of the Muslim Sufi saint Hazrath Haji Ali. A narrow walkway through the sea not accessible during high tide would lead you to the dargah which is on an island in the middle of the Arabian Sea.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya.

The Museum located near Kala Ghoda was designed by George Wittet in the Indo-Saracenic style. It was built in 1914 but formally opened in 1923. The museum has a vast and rare collection of antiques, Indian miniature paintings, sculptures, a natural history section, Nepali and Tibetan art, decorative art, bronzes, textiles and much more. You might need more than a day to see this place thoroughly.

Mani Bhavan

Mani Bhavan is located on Laburnum Road at Gamdevi. The residence of Shri Revashanker Jhaveri, it served as Gandhiji’s headquarters in Mumbai from 1917-1934. It is now converted into a museum that houses a research library, a photo display gallery, an exhibition in mini-figures on Gandhiji’s life called Glimpses of Gandhi, an auditorium and Gandhiji’s room.

Afghan Church

This church consecrated in 1858 was built in the memory of the British soldiers who died during the Sind and Afghan wars of 1838 and 1842-43. It is located beyond Colaba towards R.C. Church. It has been restored recently and has some beautiful stained glass windows. It remains shut most of the time but would be open on Sundays.

Maharashtra Nature Park

This lush green park located at Dharavi on the banks of the Mithi River was created from a garbage dumping ground. It was opened to the public in 1994. You will find more than 14,000 plants, 115 species of birds and scores of butterflies. It also boasts of its own water harvesting project.

The Gate of Mercy Synagogue

Also called Juni Masjid, this 1796 built synagogue located at Samuel Street lends its name to Masjid station. It is the second oldest synagogue in India and go here to find out the interesting history behind its name.-‘ The Gate of Mercy”.

Mahakali Caves

Yes, all of us have heard of the Mahakali Caves road or gone to SEEPZ using it but must have seldom visited the caves. This could also be because of the poor roads and the filth around these caves which were formerly known as ‘Kondivita’. These Buddhist caves date back to the 1st century.

So how many places have you been to...


Full2 Faltu said...

Except the Museum nowehere! I have the usual excuse of not going, busy! :)

I have lived all my life in Mumbai and still can't claim that I know Mumbai.

Thanks Abodh.
Someday I hope, I will see them.


Anil P said...

Six, not bad, is it? :)

Maybe I'll wait for your next list, if you put it up, of more unconventional places :)

Bombay Addict said...

Lovely post Abodh and thanks for the reality check. I'm bookmarking this post. Banganga's first on my list. What say? lets get a few bloggers or friends and go walking again?

Strays said...

Phew! Your headline almost scared me. Fortunately have visited them all. Are there any brownies in store?

Abodh said...

full2: yup.. do that

Anil : yup, not bad at all... will put up another list .

BA: let me know anytime.. we can do a chakkar of these places.

strays: Amazing.. one Mumbaikar who has been to all. yup, will give you something that goes with your blog name.